The Sheppard LRT Report (Part I)

On Wednesday, March 21, Toronto Council will consider a report recommending that the Sheppard rapid transit line be built as an LRT from Don Mills Station east, initially, to Morningside.  This is the same scheme that was on the table in the Metrolinx 5-in-10 plan, and approval of this recommendation will more or less put Transit City back on track where it was before the election of Mayor Ford.

There is a main report and many background documents, including an alternative subway proposal, what might be called the “Chong Dissent” from the otherwise pro-LRT conclusions of the panel.  This article provides a summary of material from many sources.  For the definitive word, please refer to the originals as I am not going to attempt to cover every detail here.

As a general observation, the materials present a review of the situation in considerably more detail than we see for many transit planning decisions, notably those surrounding recent budget debates.  With luck, and with a less transit-hostile TTC board, we might see the same level of interest turned to basic questions like “where’s my bus and why can’t I get on when it shows up”.

The pro-subway folks claim that the report is biased, that it is hogwash, and advance their own dissent purporting to show the superiority of a subway option.  The misinformation and factual errors in this dissent are disconcerting, putting it mildly, considering that billions in provincial spending and the future development of our transit network might have depended on such twaddle.  I will turn to this in detail later in a future article.

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